Ghosts from the Past

As I wrapped up the final chapter of Psychic Awakening, I was so involved with the characters in the book that I thought it would naturally segue into a serial, picking up exactly where Psychic Awakening left off.

So here I find myself in the strange position of having to announce that I’m halfway through my second fiction book, and it has nothing to do with Megan, Peter, Beth, or any of the other Psychic Awakening regulars.

Maybe I should explain.

Many years ago I came up with an idea for a novel with a simple premise. An American exchange student goes missing in Japan and one of his university professors is sent to take care of the bureaucratic complications, which means making sure that the disappearance doesn’t affect the exchange agreement between the two universities involved.

The reluctant troubleshooter flies to Japan and discovers that the disappearance is more complicated than it seems. Something of a mystery, in fact. Intrigued by this mystery, the professor (male) begins to do a little amateur sleuthing and gets beaten up for his trouble, a warning to stay well away.

The beating — especially a severe blow to the head — results in the prof beginning to experience some very odd mental phenomena. Psychic talents, to be precise.

The technical difficulties of writing an English-language novel set in Japan dissuaded me from taking the story any further, though I did imagine it going in one of two directions, one involving drug-smuggling mobsters and the other a religious sect run by a crime syndicate.

I have no idea why, a few weeks ago, I suddenly decided to revive this incomplete story and make it my second venture into the world of fiction. Probably the completion of my first book gave me enough confidence to tackle the above-mentioned technical problems.

For reasons unknown to myself, the exchange agreement morphed into one between a UK and a Japanese university. Both the missing student (male) and the troubleshooting prof (female) are now British.

The first half of the new book was relatively easy to write, as the story was already half-formed. I’ve now moved into unfamiliar territory, into the part of the story that was never developed. I’ve decided to let the story write itself, a technique that worked successfully with Psychic Awakening.

I’m toying with the idea of rushing into digital print, which means putting it on sale before it’s finished. This is one of the characteristics of the Leanpub philosophy: publish early and often. The idea, as I understand it, is to get feedback from committed readers and make mid-course adjustments.

It takes a lot of courage to do this, even though the spectacularly poor sales of Psychic Awakening indicate I’ll be lucky to get any feedback on the new book. We’ll see.

The provisional title is Psychic Dawn. It should be ready for the light of day (dreadful metaphor) in a week or two.

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